Hitting the mall

This jacket is one of my favorite mall purchases. Photo by Michael Vera.

Shopping at a large mall offers a great selection of items, but can be overwhelming (not to mention time-consuming).  I prefer to spend less time shopping for my clothes and more time living in them, so below I’ve shared some of my favorite tips that I hope will make your mall trips more fruitful and fun.

  • Shop alone. Wear simple clothing (for easy changing in the dressing room) with minimal accessories (to avoid catching them on any delicate items).
  • Focus on the stores that best reflect your style.
  • Have a list of what you need. (The Shopping Strategy by Nina Garcia makes this process super-easy by breaking it down into 3 questions: What do I have?  What do I need? and What do I want? Bonus: it’s simply gorgeous due to the work of famed illustrator Ruben Toledo).
  • Keep in mind your B.A.S.E. wardrobe (does it flatter your body type, will it serve you well for situations you most often find yourself in, etc.?).  As you practice, you will be able to browse through merchandise much, much faster.
  • Rarely deviate from your list of needed items (example: a find from the gods appears before you, such as when I found a perfectly-fitting, just-my-style Dolce and Gabbana skirt suit ON SALE ON SALE ON SALE at a local consignment shop).   Being a.)desperate for anything, or b.) depressed/frustrated/hungry/cranky are not good reasons to buy random items.
  • Let a salesperson help you, but don’t let them talk you into things that aren’t for you.  Personal examples:

I walk into Sephora.  The fact that there are literally 800 blushes on the shelf makes me want to call it a day and run to the nearest Starbucks for a Venti Caramel Macchiato, but I tell a salesperson that I am looking for a blush and give her a few ideas of what I like, and pretty soon she has narrowed those 800 (you think I’m kidding) options down to 5, from which I can pretty somewhat easily choose one.

I am in the dressing room. Salesperson: “Why don’t you try on this neon yellow top?  Neon yellow is THE color to wear this season.” Me: “Thanks, but I don’t prefer neon yellow.  I really like these kelly green shorts, though.” At which point the salesperson jokes about my husband calling and saying I can buy whatever I want, so why don’t I buy both? And then brings me a pair of neon yellow jeans.  And a neon yellow headband.

  • Don’t settle!  Many times, our choices are not between good and bad, but between good and best (perhaps much of life is characterized by this dilemma?).
  • Be patient.  Unless you are a person of unlimited means, creating a wardrobe that showcases the fabulousness that is you is a process, not a one-day fix.  Hold out for special pieces that really become you.

Now that you’ve bagged a few amazing pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe, take a few minutes to enjoy a nice cup of Earl Grey in the food court while people-watching.  There–that wasn’t so bad, was it?

I’d love to hear your tips on what makes your shopping trips more productive (or any shopping frustrations you have)!  Please leave me a note in the comment section below.

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2 thoughts on “Hitting the mall

  1. Regina Westgate says:

    Just wanted to say I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Very inspiring.

  2. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you like it!

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